Will Trump’s Rhetoric Suppress African-American Voters?

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Photo by Paul J. Richards (AFP/Getty Images)

This November, COVID19 will still be with us which is why nearly every state in the nation is expanding the ability of voters to vote with an absentee or mailed ballot. Yet Trump baselessly proclaims that mailed ballots will lead to massive fraud.

As a group, African-American voters are more likely than other groups to vote in person. “There are a variety of reasons. For African Americans… striding to the polls is a powerful act, both symbolic and substantive. Some black voters fear their mail ballots might get lost or rejected.” There is evidence out of Florida that showed that the ballots of African-American voters got rejected twice as often as the ones from white voters.

So here’s the nightmare scenario:  What happens if a sizeable portion of African-American voters plan to vote in person and so never request a mailed ballot, but then ultimately decide not to vote in person because the pandemic has just surged in their community again? The statistics clearly show that COVID19 is more fatal to them than other ethnicities.

Needless to say, this scenario would be very, very bad.

There are several groups working with the Democratic National Committee to ramp up communication about mailed ballots, as there is already a discrepancy showing up in the data. In Georgia, for example, while 25% of white voters have requested their mailed ballot, only 17% of black voters have.

It is really important to help increase access to mailed ballots as there is wide expectation that due to social distancing, many in-person polling places will be closed. We do not want a repeat of what we saw in Wisconsin in March happening all over the country on November 3rd.

How we can help

Here are two groups doing a ton of education and working to turn out black voters that we can support:

The Collective PAC

Black Voters Matter

Thank you for taking action!

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